Thursday, January 29, 2009

I scream for ice-cream, I mean for Him!

It is with a surprising sense of fear that I announce: we finished the fast! Today, for the first time in 21 days, we can partake of meat, dairy, eggs, caffeine, herbal tea, alcohol and leavened bread.

I'm kinda scared of going back to normal though. Ironic, given that at the outset, I wasn't sure I could go three weeks without all those things. Do you find that as you get older you get more attached to your routine? I am, particularly to using the same conditioner, drinking a particular brand of water, drinking tea or coffee at certain times of the day, packing huge amounts of protein into every meal... the idea of doing it differently (particularly when we go out of town) strikes a little bolt of fear in my heart. Creature of habit, through and through.

My fear comes from how good I feel right now. Over the past three weeks, I haven't felt bloated once, my skin has cleared up a bit and I'm more alert. Cooking times are down to a minimum because I'm not spending hours cooking meat, and I've spent less time thinking about what I'm going to eat. I know you're surprised. I don't even recognize myself.

And none of the abstention was hard! In fact, it was so easy to refrain from eating things that aren't good for me (in terms of dairy, and unhealthy foods) because I wasn't giving it up for myself, or for my self-absorbed goals of slimmer waistlines... it's much easier to give things up for someone else rather than for yourself, don't you think? That's certainly true about mothers who often sacrifice their own needs for their children. In this case, I was giving it up for the One who created me, and knows all the horrible things about me, all the pettiness and selfishness... and yet still loves me. It's a silly gesture I know. But to me, it was huge.

And so, I've decided that I'm going to maintain a mostly-vegetarian diet, with lots of whole grains (quinoa, brown rice, farro, freekah...). I was thinking that eating red meat once a week, and fish once a week would suffice. What do you think? How much meat do you eat every week? How does that affect your veggie intake? Do you get the recommended 5 servings of fruit and veg every day?

I had envisioned this morning throughout the fast: waking up with a smile on my face, rays of sunshine in my hair, and a twinkle in my eye because I knew the coffeemaker was sitting on the counter ready for action. I imagined the smell wafting through the house, and curling itself up my nostrils like they do in cartoons. I would look out the window, see a hummingbird buzzing from one orange blossom to another, open up the paper, read a great uplifting story, and lift a hot mug of soy half-and-half laced coffee to my lips. Aaaaaaaah!


It was NOTHING like that! I woke up incredibly groggy, wiped the drool off my face, dragged my feet on the floor, walked toward the computer, and nearly forgot that the fast was over! Then I remembered that I could have coffee today, and my heart started beating just a little bit faster until I realised that the coffeemaker was still on top of the fridge. So I climbed up on a chair and reached for the dusty ol' thing, stretching out more than should be humanly possible first thing in the morning, washed it and set it up. THEN I remembered that the only decaf coffee grounds I had were in the freezer, where they should never be kept because the moisture gets to the oils in the coffee and makes them go stale quicker. I didn't get the paper, there were no hummingbirds buzzing outside and I ended up with a limp, stale and bitter cuppa this morning!

Agh! That's what I get for thinking about myself, and not Him, first thing in the morning!!

Nevermind. It's not a big deal. At least that's what I'm telling myself. Instead, I'm focusing on the next time I can have ice-cream.


Speaking of which, look at what my fellow icecream-addict friend Ross will suffer for the sake of an icecream bar.



p.s. I'm still going to brew another pot o' joe dang it all. Since I haven't brewed coffee in so long, I need help: what coffee do you like to drink?


mandi said...

Ross's roommate is the master roaster at Casteel Coffee in Evanston. We get yummy fresh small-batch roasted coffee! Right now, as I write even, we are drinking OBAMA BLEND! It's a blend of coffees from Hawaii, Kenya, and Indonesia. And delicious!

As for the meat eating. I must admit that I wish I ate less meat. When I stopped being a vegetarian, I promised myself I wouldn't have meat more than a couple times a week. But I definitely eat meat sometimes at every meal. If I eat breakfast at home however it's usually homemade yogurt with fruit and granola. But if I go out there is usually bacon involved! I mostly stick to chicken, but especially in the summer it's hard to pass up a good burger! I probably don't get enough fruit and leafy greans. I don't do a lot of cooking, so when I do buy produce there always seems to be a lot that goes to waste, and then I feel guilty about wasting money and food, so I don't buy anything. Then I start feeling guilty about wasting money eating out and not eating healthfully, and the cycle continues!
I read something once in a magazine that it's easier for women (it was a women's mag, it might apply to men, too) to stick to exercise and healthy eating plans if their goal is to feel better and not to look better. Just substitute "get closer to god" for "feel better" and it still makes sense. You're sacrificing for a higher purpose than just physical appearance. So there you go.

keven said...

Yeah as you know I am giving up as well... giving up to The Lord. I stopped drinking coffee because of what I see...oh so judgmental... that humility is a pain in the cussing :)

all text and photographs on aartilla the fun © 2005-2009 Aarti Sequeira unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.